On Sunday, June 8th, Lucy & James were married at Keswick Vineyards. Let me start off by thanking James for his military service to this great country of ours. I was especially touched when during the ceremony recognition was given to some of his military friends that were no longer with us to celebrate this special day. Lucy and James also had a table set at the reception to pay respect to all of the fallen soldiers and POWs. I've never seen that done before and was very touched by the gesture. Witnessing things like that really tells you a lot about the couple and their priorities and values in life. Lucy and James chose to hold their wedding ceremony amongst the vineyard. I love how they attached a video camera to the pergola to capture their ceremony up close. My favorite thing from this wedding was what Lucy did with her Mother's veil. She draped it on the pergola which was the focal point for the ceremony. For me it was like her Mother wrapping herself around this couple and blessing them. What a great idea! It was especially special since the Mother's girlfriend who made the veil many years ago was also attending this wedding. Special thanks to the following vendors for doing such an incredible job: Catering by BBQ Exchange, DJ T.D. Layman of Sound Enforcement, Musicians Allodolla Quartet from Charlottesville High School Orchestra, Photographer Aaron Watson, Wedding cake by Sweethaus, Hair Stylist Brianna Adams, Make-up Artist Seema Khannam, flowers by Verde Natural Florist, Officiant Rev. Carolyn Barkley, Buses by UTS Charters and Skyline Tent Company. Click here to view Part I of photos by Aaron Watson. Click here to view Part II of photos by Aaron Watson. Click here to see this wedding featured in Rustic Wedding Chic.
Well, it was a long year in waiting for me, but Saturday, June 7th was finally here which meant the beautiful outdoor wedding for Natalie and Dan and... Bananas Foster! When Natalie & Dan first came to tour at Keswick Vineyards for their Charlottesville wedding venue, we immediately hit it off. When they told me all about their vision for their wedding day, I got so excited. Natalie and Dan have done a lot of traveling and are foodies and they wanted to incorporate that into their wedding day. They wanted to make sure that their guests got to experience some of their favorite brandies and foods from the South including Bananas Foster (my favorite dessert!). They also created a New Orleans feel from the parasols to the musicians. During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed some good old New Orleans style of music performed by Millstreet Ramblers while enjoying some mint juleps. Some guests took a little time out to watch the Triple Crown with their drinks. Guests also got to enjoy a wine tasting of Keswick Vineyards Virginia wines during cocktail hour. Skyline Tent did a beautiful job hanging lanterns from the Sperry tent. Special thanks to Natalie's parents (and dog) for being such a delight to get to know and work with over the past year. I hope your daughter's wedding was all and even more than you ever imagined. Please come back to visit! Special thanks to the following vendors for doing an exceptional job: Catering by C&O (thanks for the dessert!), Event Planner Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, DJ Derek Tobler, Musicians Millstreet Ramblers, Photographer Sarah Jane Winter, Videographer Ian's Creations, LLC., Hair & Make-up by Bristles Hair Design & Day Spa, Flowers were all done by Zoya (Mother of the bride), Officiant Van Sowerby, Transportation by A&A Limousine, LLC. and Skyline Tent Company. Click here to watch their video by Ian's Creations, LLC.
We never intended on making a Verdejo wine; the fruit was sold off to another winery because, quite frankly, we felt the wine to be uninspiring and rather bland. It so happened that when half our Viognier crop was lost due to the Easter Weekend frost in 2006, we kept the Verdejo fruit out of necessity, and so began one of our most successful and widely anticipated wines we currently produce. Such was the response to this unknown grape from Spain's Rueda region, that we have increased our acreage thereof and see it is one of our most important wines moving forward.
If Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc had a baby, it would be called Verdejo.
The wine is sharp and focused with mineral accents and vibrant flavors of stone fruits with some salty undertones, yet it has a textural quality and richness I associate with Viognier. It is versatile with a variety of dishes, but easily enjoyed on it's own during the warmer months. I have fallen in love with this grape and the wine and am very excited about the future.
In the harvest of 2012, following the rather challenging harvest that was 2011 [note the subtle sarcasm], we harvested perfectly ripe Verdejo. We also picked some Viognier intended for our entry level Les Vent d'Anges brand Viognier the same day. Harvest went well, the fruit was clean and 12 hours later the fruit was sitting in cold storage. I had a plan for processing and the press was prepped and cleaned for receiving the fruit the next morning; home time!
Do you ever get a feeling when something is not quite right, a feeling in your gut that the stars are just not aligned perfectly? Driving to the winery I had such a feeling, no reason why but just did not feel too good. I am pretty sure a refrigerated truck is supposed to cool fruit, imagine my surprise and few choice words when I discovered that our truck was actually heating the fruit and that the inside temperature was 88 degrees, LOVELY.
Previous processing plan out of the window, new plan: toss the Viognier and Verdejo fruit together into the press and then deal with it in the winery. And so ladies and gentleman, our newest addition, the V², was born. Our intention with this wine was to try and mimic the previous Verdejo versions that were more Sauvignon Blanc in character, showcasing green apple and stone fruit tones. I think what ultimately saved the day was the fact that our LVD Viognier grapes are picked a little earlier and do not exhibit the floral and tropical aromas usually associated with the grape.
The blend came out at 51% Verdejo and 49% Viognier and after fermentation and racking, started to really grow on me. The problem with wine nowadays is that consumers want what they had previously and the challenge with this wine was to re-introduce and re-brand the Verdejo grape and wine. We decided to bottle this wine early since it was 100% tank fermented, thereby giving it a few months in bottle before releasing it. The name V² represents the two varieties that make up the wine and with much trepidation was released to the public in early April.
Instant success; you loved it! It was quickly snapped up in the tasting room and then we started getting asked "When will the next one be available?". Oh No, no next one, this was a once off thing due to a mistake in the ..., who am I kidding? The next one is being released next weekend the 14th of June. How do you deny your customers? You don't. We make wine for people to enjoy and get excited about and if they loved the first V², they will love the latest version.
The blend is Viognier heavy this year, with only 19% Verdejo and as such the wine is richer and more complex. The Verdejo plays an important role in that it provides the acidity and minerality, that ultimately keeps the flashier Viognier in check. The wine was fermented in tank and saw no oak. I used a South African yeast, widely used for Sauvignon Blanc production. After minimal handling, protein stabilization and sterile filtration, the wine was bottled April 5th 2014. After 2 months in the bottle, it makes its long awaited and much anticipated appearance in our tasting room. It is a different style than the previous version and each year the blend will differ slightly, what remains the same is that this wine is just good.
I love the V², I really do and my hope is that when you taste it, you will love it too. Let me know what you think.
Congratulations to Terri & Drew who were married on Saturday, May 31st, at Keswick Vineyards. Once again Mother Nature provided us with perfect Virginia weather for this all outdoor event. Terri is a very detailed person and she had every detail of their Charlottesville wedding day specified. Her and Drew had heard a band perform at a street festival and knew they wanted them to perform for their wedding here. The Turpentiners, from Pittsburg, performed for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Terri & Drew had also hired a new caterer, L'etoile, that did an outstanding job. Their service was definitely the most memorable moment of this wedding for me. Terri & Drew decided on a plated dinner for their guests. L'etoile staff would come out circling the tent to arrive at the designated table, wait until all staff members were ready behind each guests and on cue, would present the plate to the females first and then wait a moment and present the 2nd plate to the gentlemen. The staff then would pause and then circle back out of the tent. What presentation that everyone their couldn't help but to stop and take notice of. Hats off to Vickie and the rest of the L'etoile staff for giving everyone that "WOW" moment. Terri & Drew had also brought in a cigar roller who prepared cigars on site as guests enjoyed them throughout the evening. And what better way to depart your wedding then to leave in a vintage convertible car! I think Terri & Drew thought of everything and more. Special thanks to all the vendors for doing such an awesome job: Event Coordinator Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, Caterers L'etoile, DJ John Garland, Photographer Joe Brier from Happy Couple Wedding Photography, Musicians The Turpentiners, Hair & Make-up by Moxie Hair Salon, Florist Blue Ridge Floral, Pastry Chef Anita Gupta at Maliha Creations, Reverend Douglas Forrester, USA Bus Charter and Festive Fare for rentals.